The Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center is gearing up for a busy season.
The non-profit is set to open to the public shortly with a new facility in the works.
Saturday was the first prep day for the summer season.
“We rely heavily on volunteers so we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the community support of people coming down and helping us out,” says Jen Guimaraes, Associate Director of Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center.
The non-profit relies on dozens and dozens of volunteers to do everything from painting to flipping boats.
“I always say that with all the traveling I’ve done, the Lake Champlain Valley is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in the world” says Volunteer Emily Tompkins.
Guimaraes says all the work is leading up to their public opening Memorial Day weekend.
With not as much snow fall, the lake hasn’t been frozen in Burlington Bay, so we are actually kind of lucky we can start right on time.”
It was that unusually warm Vermont winter that had people itching to set sail pretty early this year.
“This December when it was 50 degrees, we had several calls to rent boats which was kind of fun. You have to really appreciate folks that want to get out there” says Jen Guimaraes.
The Center currently operates out of the Water Department garage. Now after more than 20 seasons, the Center is excited to break ground on a whole new facility on the bike path in just a few months.
“It will have running water and bathrooms, changing rooms, offices for our year around staff and then a deck up top for teaching for our students,” says Guimaraes.
The hope is to have the new 22,000 square foot waterfront center up and running by the end of the year.